Assateague Island Ponies

June 29th, 2012

Last weekend, my family and I spent some time at the beach on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. While we were there, we visited Assateague Island where we caught a group of wild ponies enjoying a beautiful evening on the beach. With the group was an older foal, which was kept nearby the adults.

Ponies at Assateague Island

The ponies leisurely walked down the shoreline, giving me plenty of time pull out my camera and snap a few photos. The beach at Assateague is much nicer than in Ocean City, MD, as it’s more natural, has fewer people, and the sand itself is easier on your feet.

Ponies at Assateague Island

After the ponies passed, a few of us spent time hopping waves and collecting seashells. As I mentioned above, the sand is very fine, so it feels wonderful underfoot. Where the waves break, however, there are a lot of shells and rocks, but that makes it ideal for finding some nice ones. Out past the surf, the fine sand continues for a long ways before dropping off.

Pony at Assateague Island

You may notice that the ponies have a bulging belly that normal horses do not exhibit. We read that this is due to drinking salt water. Some literature that they handed us when we entered the park said that the horses adapted and can now sustain themselves largely on salty water.

Pony at Assateague Island

The park limits the number of ponies that live on the island to only what the vegetation on the island can sustain. Nevertheless, in all of the years I’ve visited Assateague, we have never left without seeing at least one pony. Most times, you see several herds from your car just by driving the short loop that goes throughout the island. Have you been to Assateague? Comments welcome!

2 Responses to “Assateague Island Ponies”

  1. Arlene Says:

    I love this place! We went camping there a couple of years ago and my boys loved seeing the ponies in the campsites. Also the deer were very tame there, and though you’re not supposed to touch the animals, one deer came next to our campsite and was so gentle that it let one of my boys pet it. We have some pictures of that!

  2. guitarfish Says:

    Sounds like fun, Arlene! We haven’t been camping there, but we visit annually when we’re in Ocean City. We’ll have to try camping, but need to figure out the best time to avoid mosquitos

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